This July, the world experienced perhaps the hottest month in over a century. It is true that the climate crisis can produce very divergent impacts on the rich and the poor. As UN expert pointed out recently, the rich have money to find ways to mitigate the threats of global warming, but the poor are powerless to protect themselves. They are left to bear the resulting heat, famine and diseases. CEDAR has had an insight into the great affliction that the poor in Zimbabwe in southern Africa have to endure.
[“SHARE” APR – JUN 2019 ] FOCUS ~ Community Development & Advocacy
Written by: Lai Ka Chun
In mid-2018, a junior football team and their assistant coach were rescued after 18 days in Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. Their 25-year-old coach’s care in the cave was indispensable. This incident made the coach a hero in Thais’ hearts. However, this coach was originally stateless, as well as the other 3 boys, who had no Thai citizenships.
(Starry sky in a Thai-Myanmar border town)
(CEDAR’s note: The writer, Dr Ho Shun Yee, joined CEDAR’s Exposure Trip to the Thai-Myanmar border towns and the northern regions in Thailand at the end of last year. In this article, Dr Ho shares her experience and thoughts about the tour. CEDAR will host another in-depth tour to Bangladesh to visit the poverty-stricken communities. For more information, please visit: https://cedarfund.org/trip/)
In mid-December 2018, more than ten of us from CEDAR arrived at the Thai-Myanmar border – a place that turned out to be quite different from the land of orchids, Thai silk, massages and water fights that most people would have in mind when the place is mentioned. There were cloud-shrouded mountains and singing streams, but what we heard was a song of a thousand sorrows from the border towns. Yet, in a way, it was also a song of hope.
[“SHARE” OCT – DEC 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Christian Response to Poverty
Written by: Raymond Kwong (CEDAR’s Chief Executive) and Jady Sit
In recent years, the international development sector began to emphasise the importance of human inner transformation for uprooting poverty. For instance, Cornell University Professor Kaushik Basu, who serves as the chief economist of World Bank from 2012 to 2016, shared in a public lecture, that no matter what kind of models of poverty alleviation is, one of the key factors to its success is whether people are willing to let go of some of their own interests or economic benefits and seek higher purposes, with which human being in general are common, and so, he advocates strengthening values education in society. This is about changing hearts and minds.
Impoverishment is a consequence of mankind’s broken relationship with God, with each other, and with the rest of the Creation. This broken relationship does not limited to the poor, but also to the non-poor. That is to say, for the sake of ending poverty, inner change has to happen with both the haves and the have-nots.
A PADR facilitator (first right) is explaining a ploughing method
Stanley Enock Hanya is the Coordinator of Church and Community Mobilisation projects at Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), which is one of the biggest evangelical alliances in Zimbabwe. He hopes to equip faith leaders in churches to teach their congregation to facilitate community development based on biblical principles.
Written by: Stanley Enock Hanya (Church and Community Mobilisation Coordinator, EFZ)
The EFZ embarked on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) after calls for relief from previous project communities that had been affected by 2015/2016 El Niño induced drought. Realising that disaster response was not sustainable, the organisation began to intently look at the word of God for inspiration on issues of disaster prevention. It was after some soul-searching effort that we were able to adopt the Participatory Assessment of Disaster Risk (PADR) as a tool to guide the implementation of DRR initiatives in communities.
[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2018 ] FOCUS ~ Disaster Management
Written by: Jady Sit
Every time there is a disaster, we feel sad and anxious for the suffering victims. While some people would pray for them, others would donate generously or organise a fundraising campaign, and some people would form a volunteer team to serve the devastated survivors through humanitarian work or counselling support. Although we try to give what we can, in the face of a natural disaster, we still feel helpless and powerless, because what could we do to stop tragedies that are not of our control?
In 2015, the massive earthquake in Nepal brought irreversible destructions: close to 9,000 casualties, 3.5 million people lost their homes, and Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was severely damaged. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the overall damage of the quake was about US$10 billion (about half of the country’s GDP). So, is it true that we cannot prevent a disaster from happening?